Category Archives: Pharisee Spirit

NOT THERE YET!

NOT THERE YET!

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward. Deuteronomy 2:3

 

It’s been a few years ago that Holy Spirit pricked my heart prompting me to ask this question, ‘ARE WE THER YET?’ I’m sure that it caused you to reminisce about the 2005 film starring Nick Persons (Ice Cube) Nia Long and Aleisha Allen!

Sadly, once again many of my fellow kinsmen in Christ find ourselves trapped in this dilemma (whether we’re willing to acknowledge it publicly or even privately)! What am I talking about, NOW? While it gladdens our hearts to acknowledge the tremendous strides that we, as a nation, have taken as it relates to establishing ethnic, gender and social equality in the land of the free, on the other hand, we’re yet haunted by the insidious pink elephant in the room, chanting “We ain’t where we used to be, but we sho ain’t where we ought to be!” Don’ lost half my church, again, huh?

Granted, it’s been the custom of many of our leaders to ascribe to the notion of ‘separation of state and church’, yet, there has been a subtle reformation amongst a few to sneak preach their opposition to those who have, in no uncertain terms, expressed their earnest and impassioned desires to repeal and replace the furtherance of political, legislative, economic, social and religious progressions of the more contemporized inclusive mind-sets of 21st Century millenniums with the more partisan-palatable-self-engrandising traditions of their ancestral culture. Oooh NO SHE DIDN’T! #uknowidid!

Quite honestly, the recent events of the past year and a half,  plainly affirm the vociferous premise, “We ain’t there yet”!  Down thru the years, those of us who have witnessed numerous infractions of the civil and domestic rights, defined by The U.S. Constitution, of every citizen of this nation, have been stupefied, shocked and yes terrified by the attitude and inexpiable restraint of those who consistently choose to ignore the obvious and supplant distractions in an effort to excuse the inexcusable activity that’s been perpetuated upon us DAILY, in live and in living HD coverage!

I must confess, personally,  it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the saved and sane, who sincerely endeavor to obediently follow after the heart of God, to fake stupid and go along just to get along! Some of us actually believed our Grandma and Maya Angelo, “If someone repeatedly shows you who they are, BELIEVE THEM!” #IJS!!!

Life has a way of teaching us two of the greatest deterrents to successfully reaching our goals: contentment and indulgence!  Again, I’m not trying to negate the credibility of The Apostle Paul’s revelation “Not that I speak in respect to want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Philippians 4:11) However, I AM simply reverberating the apparent, if we linger here too long, our contentment becomes a comfort zone that potentially diminishes our hope, dreams and drive for reaching better…there! GOD FORBID!

God promised to bring His Chosen people into their good land, flowing with milk and honey! But when they got so comfortable going around Mount Horeb that they were willing to settle for a piece of God’s Promise, this became unacceptable! When do we grow-up into a level of spiritual maturity that exemplifies God’s perspective of righteousness? Not only is partial obedience disobedience, but it also robs Him of the opportunity to fully express His Glory!

Beloved, it’s time out for pointing our fingers at them Israelites and not looking at our own lives to recognize how many times we’ve settled for less than God was offering! Yes, we are not called out to fight as the world, nevertheless, the weapons of our warfare are still mighty thru God! (Ref. 2 Chronicles 7:14) BUT! When we get thru praying that effectual fervent prayer of the righteous that availeth much, we get up and vote, show up at the city council, town hall, school board, PTA and home-owners association meetings!

I dare U shout on dat?

Please hear my heart, Precious One, God said, “It’s time to head northward! Shake the dust of compromise off your feet and getta steppin—FORWARD”!

Let’s lift up our heads! Remember, “…the race is not given to the swift neither to the strong, But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”Matthew 24:13!

Nawh, we might not be there yet, BUT…GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN US THAN HE THAT’S IN THIS WORLD! Let the Spirit of Caleb rise up in you, exhale the spirit of doubt and fear and trust GOD 2 PREVAIL THRU UR FAITH AND FEET!

ARE YOU ‘THERE’ YET? SERIOUSLY?

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

This is Ann Caffee and I pledge my allegiance to The Gospel!

 

LOST & FOUND

lost-and-found

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

 

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. Luke 15:20-24
The Gospels record 35 times that Jesus uses parables as a teaching aid. Literally, a parable is a story “cast alongside” a truth in order to illustrate that truth. In today’s vernacular a parable is as an inspired comparisons, or simply put an earthly story with a heavenly meaning!

Unlike like so many 21st Century preachers,  Jesus wasn’t just trying to spice up the message to keep the crowds entertained. His parables had a two-fold purpose. First, to reveal the truth to those who wanted to know it and to conceal the truth from those who were indifferent! You see, Jesus already knew that everybody who followed Him didn’t do so for the same reason. People are still people, huh?

You do know that everybody who comes into the church building doesn’t come looking to know Jesus, right? Some come just for a ‘kidz-size happy meal and a prize’! While others, like the Pharisee and the scribes, only come to pick up a few stones to throw at Jesus. Notice how they accused Jesus, “Look at Him, This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Spiritually blinded by their preconceived biases, Jesus already knew that they would dismiss His parables as irrelevant nonsense.  Yet, there were also a few sincere seekers of Truth who would eventually receive insight and reap the benefit and comfort of His Words!

Anything that you respect and honor you will pursue! Perhaps, that’s why the Pharisees could not understand why Jesus cared about ‘tax collectors and sinners’. Yall know how you go off when you can’t find your keys or the remote control. You put out an all-points-bulletin and nobody in the house can get any relief until it’s found! When you really desire something with all of your heart, mind, spirit and soul, whatever it takes to get it, is worth it all!

The text says that The Shepherd is so excited that He’s found the sheep that He throws a party to celebrate the safe return and everyone around Him is rejoicing with Him! (Ref. Luke 15:6-7)  Imagine that! I know we don’t get excited when folk get saved anymore, huh? But that’s exactly what happened back-n-da-day!

The next story is about a woman who loses a coin and refusing to give up, she searches until nightfall. Desperately she’s turning every piece of furniture upside-down, looking between the cushions on the sofa, behind the refrigerator, until she found it. You can imagine the joy and the relief she experience when she found it! (Ref. Luke 15:8-9)

This chapter ends with a the more familiar parable of the Prodigal Son! Sometimes we can get so caught up in the drama of the son’s partaayin so hard until he ended up in the pigs pen, that we miss the intensity of The Father’s Love and Compassion for his lost child. This is a picture of The Heavenly Father’s response to those who have yet to accept the glorious gift of Salvation purchased by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ! This is why God pursues sinners and why everyone of us should rejoice when a repented sinner returns to the sheepfold.

Recovering a lost sinner requires effort and patience! However, often times we develop an acute case of selective spiritual amnesia and forget what it took for us to get our testimony, huh? Do you know that most sinners have no idea that God is looking for them and even fewer believe that He loves them?  When you look at what Jesus gave up to save us, how should those of us, who call ourselves His disciples, be any less engaged in searching for the poor souls who have yet to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord! #ijs! No, it’s not always easy but  gratefully JESUS believed the reward  well worth the effort!

Shamefully, too many Believers still think that soul winning is the Pastors and Evangelist job! But that’s not what The Bible says! ‘And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation’ 2 Cor. 5:18

Jus wondering, what are you doing to bring the lost to Jesus? Are you content to enjoy the privileges of being saved? Is your heart burdened for those who are still lost? Are you willing to get up off the padded pew of do nothing and go into the field and hunt for those who are still outside of the house? (Ref. Matthew 9:37) If Jesus still associates with sinners, why don’t you? WOW! LOST & FOUND!

SELAH!

Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!

Ann Caffee

 

EMPTY POTS

EMPTY POT 2

 

SELAH Daily Devotions!

“He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand? Isaiah 44:20

I can only imagine what’s going on in the mind and heart of Elohim gazing down the the portals of time from Eternity, seeing the massive gathering of Sunday Morning worshipers.

Look at us, over there we’re suited down in our St. Johns and over here in our Sean Johns. Got our weaves looking fresh jus like dat and our hair perfectly trimmed tight. Etienne Aigner shoes and our New York Yankees designer hats neatly tucked under the pews, just in case the person next to us gets a bit too unruly.

Once the policeman re-directed the traffic to turn left (because the parking lot was already filled to its capacity) finally, we’re glad to be seated in our favorite row. The stage is set! The sound-man gives the nod, the lighting is in sync with the Minister of Music and the Choreographer has gotten the attention of the Liturgical Dancers, we’re ready! Let’s Get It Done…BAMM!

Not so fast! I see ‘yall’, BUT where’s ‘The Glory’? Where are the God-Seekers? Who’s actually among us here to Honor HIM?

“What’s up with you asking us these kinds of questions? How could you miss HIM? Didn’t you see all those fine automobiles parked outside of this grandiose sanctuary? I bet if you tallied up the cost that was spent at the hair salons this week, you’d probably could buy a small nation. And you know the price for an authentic custom-tailored suit these days ain’t cheap, given inflation. Not to mention the small fortune the church puts out to fuel up our Pastor’s jet. You got some nerve asking about GOD! Obviously GOD has been good to us!”

Okay! Granted, you got a whole lot of stuff going on. You can afford to sit back on your laurels proudly contented and cozy, belly full and satisfied, enjoying the fruit of your successful accomplishments, and resting in the warm of your own fire. Man! that’s the life that God promised us or is it?

When was the last time you actually talked to The God you claim to belong to and serve? Did you even thank HIM for waking you up this morning, giving you the strength to get up (under your own volition) and the mind to brush your teeth with a toothbrush and not a hair brush? Have you really forgotten that there was a time when going to church on a Sunday morning never crossed you mind and the only cross you carried was dangling from your rear view mirror as a token protector for you and your property? Remember when the only word you read with any consistency was your horoscope?

Yeah, Buddy! What a life!

And you call those folk—who just can’t wait to get to Church, not just on Sunday mornings, but Bible Study, prayer meetings, whatever and whenever the doors of the church are open, they gotta be in The House, in fellowship with like-minded spirits after being amidst a bunch of God-Haters all week/day long, we who are desperate for the times of refreshment found only in the Presence of The Lord—out of touch with reality! REALLY?

Come, let’s reason this thing out together.

IS GOD BLESSED BY YOUR WORSHIP OR IS IT A STINCH IN HIS NOSTRILS?

EMPTY POTS, huh?

SELAH!

“Have a WONDER-FILLED day!”

Ann Caffee

 

SEASONED SALT

SEASONED SALT

SELAH Daily Devotions!

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. “ Matthew 5:13

WOW! Aren’t you glad that you’re saved, sanctified, living all you can to serve and please da Lord?

BUT! Before we go slappin’ 5 with our neighbors (or yourself) on the back, perhaps we need to take a closer look at today’s scripture text. Sometimes, WE—THE SAINTS—have a way of judging others by their actions BUT judging ourselves by our good intentions!

Whatchatalkinbout? It’s easy to make yourself come out smelling like a rose, as long as we’re comparing ourselves to one another! However, God never intended to make our own warped flesh the plumb-line for gauging His Righteousness!

Remember the story in the Bible of the Pharisee who went up to the Temple to pray, stood off by himself, looked across the room and seeing the tax collector, prayed “God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector.” (Ref. Luke 18:9-14)

Have you ever noticed how God’s elect seem to develop a severe case of selective amnesia once they’ve been saved for any length of time! Perhaps that’s why The Apostle Paul left a not-so-friendly reminder to us. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11

Hence, “DON’T GET IT TWISTED…no matter how many right things you manage to do on a daily basis, at the end of your bestest day—every single one of us must acknowledge “that if it had not been for JESUS…where would I be.” (Ref. Romans 3:23) Truthfully, there ain’t none good but GOD!”

That’s why He sent Jesus! The Perfect role model for us to keep before us. Righteousness Personified! (Ref. John 3:16-17)

So the next time, you’re tempted to bask in your own self-righteousness, remember our frail-flawed-fickle human tendency to judge one another by outward appearances!  Precious one, check yourself ! And please recognize that God reads hearts! (Ref. 1 Samuel 16:7)

Jesus warned,  “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20
SO…BEFORE YOU START SENDING ANY POOR SOUL STRAIGHT TO HELL, BECAUSE THEY DON’T MEASURE UP TO YOUR STANDARDS, MIGHT I SUGGEST THAT WE MAKE SURE THAT OUR OWN SALT IS SEASONED WITH MERCY AND GRACE!

SELAH!

“Have a WONDER-FILLED day!”

 Ann Caffee